An Introduction to Rewilding.
Photo by Elli Lauren
Psychological Rewilding has pierced my heart and piqued my fascination for years. It is how I began a long, ongoing healing process through an even longer epoch of personal darkness.
The word Rewilding is defined as the following in Merriam-Webster dictionary and is defined as: The planned reintroduction of a plant or animal species and especially a keystone species or apex predator into a habitat from which it has disappeared (as from hunting or habitat destruction) in an effort to increase biodiversity and restore the health of an ecosystem.
Psychological Rewilding, on the other hand, possesses no formal definition. I’ve found it’s more like a meditation – opening itself up to those who continue to explore their truest nature and the inherent connection between themselves and the world around them. Yet, I now know it is also steeped in the tradition of ecopsychology, which holds that the well-being of humans and the natural world are inextricably connected. Ecotherapists seek to heal the soul while engaging the whole, noting that there is not really an “out there” as defined in ecology and an “in here” as defined in psychology. They are interrelated.
Psychological Rewilding is not just communion with nature, though it’s suggested in many of its collective interpretations. I experience it as such…
- A return to ourselves – to our innate intelligence, intuition, and creativity.
- A recognition of our biological connection to the natural world and organic matter.
- The emphasis of healthy self-individuation and community engagement, returning to the cultural and communal paradigms we are organically structured for.
- Intuitive, holistic self-care: eating what our body is suggesting, doing what feels supportive to our best health, sleeping rhythms that rejuvenate, and recognizing and witnessing our bodies’ own wisdom.
- Emphasizing the importance of mental health, recognizing the mind/body connection and goal of stasis.
- Recognizing our untamed and simply magical inherent selves, stripped of chemicals, of technological interruptions, of too much preoccupation with persona.
- A framework for coming back to our core, developing a healthier observing ego, and making sense of our senses.
- Empowerment and liberation.
- Joy seeking.
- Celebrating our individual places in the collective – Shadow and Light.
- When the extraordinary moments are actually the ordinary ones.
Rewilding is also emphasizing compassion.
That might seem a radical definition, but it is not. All mammalian beings MUST be shown some compassion and love to survive infancy and childhood. All humans are hardwired to need compassion, which is why we all should feel an intrinsic connection to our inner source of it. Yet, many of us have lost the feeling, the frequency – the phone lines are down. Living life with compassion IS radical Rewilding.
With no formal definition of Psychological Rewilding, and the recognition of my expansive Rewilding experiences over the years, I forged my own research-based process – for myself, those I work with intimately, and now for you, so that we each can become our own healers, too.
The five alchemical components of Elemental Rewilding™ correspond to common areas of disconnection and loss.
Community: participation in rich, analog communities
Nature: connection to and preservation of the natural world
Somatics: tapping into the ancient, organismic intelligence of our own bodies
Creativity: passionate creative outlets and self-expression
Storytelling: sharing our stories without filtration.
I have realized that wildness, although a native state, often times requires an act of rebellion against the societal, cultural, religious, and familial structures in which one has been raised and confined to. One must turn over every stone in one’s life, differentiating one’s values and the truth of one’s felt experience from unconscious personal and collective influences to find one’s own truths . The process is not passive. Nor do I believe that the unconventionality Rewilding invokes is new; rather it is an indigenous process, an ancient Phoenix rising, coming back into vogue.
Some of the commonly used terms, lingo and language associated with psychological REWILDING can be found HERE.
The 5 Pillars of Elemental Rewilding™
Click each image above to read more research and lived tales of embodying these pillars of Truth and Aliveness.